Strife over Phantasy Star Online 2 “Yamato” Update

Last month, SEGA released its fifth Opening Movie for Phantasy Star Online 2, a popular MMO in Japan that was slated to come to the Continental United States and Europe almost four years ago in 2012, but was indefinitely postponed by SEGA for undisclosed reasons. Many have speculated it was for fear of having to heavily censor content such as “sexy costumes” as well as story elements, which would have continually coast additional resources for the company and effect a demographic that would not have wanted the censorship in the first place.

The movie in question, released on March 2nd which can be viewed above, features a reveal of an upcoming 12 player Boss enemy that will most likely appear through out the week randomly during “Emergency Quests” which are usually appear on the hour mark throughout the day. The boss enemy, named Yamato, has since caused a stir among fans in Japan with numerous heated debates and comments. Yamato, named after the Imperial Japanese Navy ship of World War II infamy for being one of the largest and most powerful warships ever created, with the boss enemy reflecting said World War II imagery, complete with its 18″ navel cannons, firing payloads about the size of a Mini Cooper(around 3,000 lb).

The real life Battleship Yamato was famously sunk in 1945 during Operation Ten-Go, the last major navel operation of the Imperial Japanese Navy, in which the ship and its crew paired along with 9 other matching warships, embarked on a suicide mission against Allied forces in the Battle of Okinawa. While Battleship Yamato and five other ships were sunk before reaching Okinawa, the willingness of Imperial Japan to sacrifice entire ships has lead many historians to believe it was a major contributing factor in the decision to utilize nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This lead to the death of an estimated 200,000 people over four months do to the initial explosion and radiation, with an estimate of 140,000 of those killed being civilians.

Many fans criticize the World War II imagery which includes air craft summoned by the ship, in a kamikaze style attack on the player character that are using Mechanized suits known as AIS or Arks Interception Silhouette. Some fans went as far as calling the inclusion of the boss “anti Japanese” as it parallels in meaning that the player “Arks” would be fighting along Allied Forces. Other praise the addition noting not only the historical reference of said enemy but the style of the ensuing battle and are exited to jump back in to the game when the update is available on April 20th.

Michael Jordan


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